72 Hour Cold Ferment Pizza Dough

Prep Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 3 days
Total Time 3 days 20 minutes
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This 72 Hour Cold Ferment Pizza Dough recipe is easy to make, has delicious air pockets, and a flavorful crust. It only requires 20 minutes of your time to make.

holding a Cold Ferment pizza dough ball.

😋 Why this recipe works

Cold-fermented pizza dough improves both texture and flavor. This recipe uses 80% dough hydration because we want soft pizza dough. After mixing the ingredients together, the pizza dough is left untouched in the refrigerator to ferment and develop that delicious pizza crust flavor. It’s soft with perfect air pockets and full of flavor.

📔 What happens during Cold Fermentation?

When fermented at room temperature, yeasts consume sugars quickly, halting the production of more gases and flavor compounds. When fermented at cold temperatures, yeasts produce carbon dioxide and other molecules slowly and steadily; therefore, refrigerating the pizza dough allows yeast to leaven slowly and steadily, providing more time for a more complex flavor to develop.

🍕 Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Active Dry Yeast.
  • Water.
  • Sea Salt.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

🥣 How to Make

This pizza dough is easy to make; we recommend having a scale to measure the grams of each ingredient for the best results.

mix pizza dough ingredients together in a bowl.

Mix the Dough.

Heat water to 80° F, and add the instant yeast.

Add flour and salt to a large bowl and toss together.

Add the water and yeast mixture to the bowl, and use a spatula to mix everything until a dough forms.

folding pizza dough with hands in a bowl.

Fold Pizza Dough.

Wet your hand and start folding the dough by grabbing the bottom, stretching it up and out, and folding it over on top. Rotate the bowl clockwise and repeat about 5 times until the dough no longer breaks when stretched and becomes springy.

If need to, transfer to a floured surface and repeat.

divide dough into 2 dough balls by weight.

Cut Dough in Half.

Divide the dough into 2 dough balls, weighing about 600 grams each.

fold dough one more time before placing in the fridge to ferment.

Fold Dough, add Olive Oil, and Rest.

Repeat folding each dough once more and then transfer them to 2 separate medium bowls. Add olive oil on top and spread it all over the dough. Cover with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 24 – 72 hours.

rolling out pizza dough into a 6-inch round pizza.

Roll Out Pizza Dough.

Remove the dough from the fridge, and generously flour a surface. Roll out the dough to make a medium-sized pizza (8 slices).

If only using 1 of the doughs, transfer the other dough to a large plastic bag and store the dough in the freezer for up to 5 months.

📋 Recipe FAQs

How long should I let my dough cold ferment?


Up to 72 hours is the desirable timeframe for maximum flavor. But having the dough ferment for up to 12 hours and 24 hours is also good. After 72 hours, transfer unused pizza dough to the freezer until ready to use.

Is it better to cold ferment pizza dough?

Doughs that are shaped and proofed after a slow, cold fermentation demonstrate a noticeably better flavor and better structure.

Is Neapolitan Pizza Dough Cold Fermented?


Yes, all Neapolitan-style dough requires at least 24 hours to cold-ferment. Neapolitan pizza dough is kneaded and fermented for 2 hours at room temperature; then, it is transferred to the refrigerator to continue fermenting overnight in a chilled environment.

How to store cold fermented pizza dough after 72 hours?


After 72 hours, you will want to store the leftover dough in the freezer until ready to use. Take it out of the freezer to thaw the night before in the fridge.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert Tips

  • Fold the dough by hand. I recommend folding the pizza dough by hand to avoid overworking the gluten.
  • Flour is your friend. When making pizza, be sure to flour the top and bottom of the dough before shaping, as this is a higher hydration dough, and it may be wetter and softer than traditional pizza dough.

Related Recipes

Our Same Day Pizza Dough Recipe is a great option if you’re in a time crunch and need a pizza dough recipe for tonight’s dinner. Or, check out our Poolish Pizza Dough recipe or our Same Day Pizza Dough recipe.

Here are some of our favorite pizza recipes with our cold fermented pizza dough recipe.

2 medium size pizza doughs.

This 72 hour cold ferment pizza dough is easy to make and flavorful. While 72 hours is the ideal fermenting time, you can still make pizza the next day or within 48 hours. It will still have great flavor, and you can’t go wrong with this homemade pizza dough recipe.

We hope you all love this pizza dough recipe as much as we do! Our favorite way to use this dough is for calzones! Enjoy! ♡ 

Did you try our 72 Hour Cold Ferment Pizza Dough recipe? Please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. I love hearing from you! ♡

72 Hour Cold Ferment Pizza Dough

4.86 from 14 votes
This Cold Ferment Pizza Dough is super easy to make, super delicious, and requires minimal effort! It's a great pizza dough for pizza night or for making calzones!
holding a cold ferment pizza dough.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 3 days
Total Time 3 days 20 minutes
Yields 2 medium-sized pizza doughs
Ingredients
  • 697 grams all-purpose flour plus more to shape and fold the dough (about 1/4 cup)
  • 558 grams water
  • 4 grams instant or dry active yeast
  • 17 grams salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  • Mix the Dough.
    Heat water to 80° F, and add the instant yeast.
    Add flour and salt to a large bowl and toss together.
    Add the water and yeast mixture to the bowl, and use a spatula to mix everything until a dough forms.
  • Fold Pizza Dough.
    Wet your hand and start folding the dough by grabbing the bottom, stretching it up and out, and folding it over on top. Rotate the bowl clockwise and repeat about 5 times until the dough no longer breaks when stretched and becomes springy.
    If need to, transfer to a floured surface and repeat.
  • Cut Dough in Half.
    Divide the dough into 2 dough balls, weighing about 600 grams each.
  • Fold Dough, add Olive Oil, and Rest.
    Repeat folding each dough once more and then transfer them to 2 separate medium bowls. Add olive oil on top and spread it all over the dough. Cover with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 24 – 72 hours.
  • Roll Out Pizza Dough.
    Remove the dough from the fridge, and generously flour a surface. Roll out the dough to make a medium-sized pizza (8 slices).
Notes
Up to 72 hours is the desirable timeframe for maximum flavor. But having the dough ferment for up to 12 hours and 24 hours is also good. After 72 hours, transfer unused pizza dough to the freezer until ready to use.
Store leftover pizza dough after 72 hours in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to shape the dough before transferring a freezer-safe bag.
Take the frozen pizza dough out of the freezer to thaw the night before in the fridge.
Course: Dinner, Pizza
Cuisine: Italian-Inspired
Diet: Vegetarian
Nutrition Facts
Serving1gCalories1522.56kcalCarbohydrates266.76gProtein36.81gFat31.57gSaturated Fat4.43gPolyunsaturated Fat4.38gMonounsaturated Fat20.83gSodium3316.93mgPotassium392.95mgFiber9.95gSugar0.94gVitamin C0.01mgCalcium63.56mgIron16.4mg
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  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. Made the crust I was looking for. Highly recommended. I shall look no further for this is the perfect pizza dough.

  2. 5 stars
    Best pizza dough I’ve ever made hands down. Crispy, airy, chewy bubbly crust. A huge hit for pizza party I hosted. Fermented for 72 hours. Brought to room temperature for 2 hours. Just needed a little flour on bottom and top to shape and form. You have GOT to try this one!!!

    • Hi Lauren, I’m sorry that you needed to add more flour to form a ball. Dough hydration is important with this pizza dough because it develops the full flavor of fermentation and texture when baked. They may be sticky and trickier to work with, but once you have made pizza dough several times with the hydration in mind, it will get easier. Thanks for your feedback – I will add a note to my recipe that these pizza doughs are stickier, and more flour is needed to toss each dough ball, top and bottom, before shaping. Could you share how the final pizza dough turned out after adding 100g of flour?